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ALL ABOUT THE CLASSICS
OC Childhood Language Center Benefit

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Mon, May 18, 2015

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

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All About the Classics (Sean Spear)

Story and pictures by Sean Spear For Car Enthusiasts in Southern California, it is always a special treat to be able to tour a noted collector’s private garage. It can be especially satisfying to do so while supporting a very worthy cause.

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The caring turn out for the needy (Sean Spear)

On this Saturday evening in May, Ted Segerstrom (of Orange County’s Segerstrom Center for the Arts fame) opened the doors to his closely guarded private museum in Irvine to host a benefit for the Orange County Childhood Language Center. The Center provides diagnostic and therapeutic services to children from 2 to 16 years of age who exhibit a wide range of speech, language and learning challenges. As Ann Hertz of the Center’s Board of Directors explains, “We don’t often realize how important speech and the ability to communicate is to learning and overall child development. If a child feels self-conscious about a lisp or stutter, then they are far less likely to ask a question in class, or raise their hand when they have an answer. Many times they withdraw and fall behind.” The Center’s primary mission is to help kids not only overcome their difficulties, but also rebuild their self-confidence.

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The Hosts, left-to-right –Mr. Ted Segerstrom; Judy Montgomery, The Center’s Executive Director - and Professor & Director of the Communication Sciences and Disorders Program at Chapman University; and Frankie Rosario, Chairman of the Orange County Childhood Language Center Board of Directors (Sean Spear)

Working through a cooperative relationship with Chapman University and generously supported by a local operating unit of the California Scottish Rite Foundation, the Center is able to provide their services to kids in need for free. In addition, the Center supports its activities through a series of fundraisers throughout the year such as last week’s event.

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Judy and Frankie with classical guitarist Flavio Apro (Sean Spear)

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Wine education provided by Master Sommelier, Mr. Michael Jordan (Sean Spear)

Many of the attendees were long-time supporters of the Center and other Scottish Rite societal endeavors, but there were also undoubtedly a few attendees who were more so attracted by Mr. Segerstrom’s collection. Regardless of the motivation, all attendees enjoyed a personal tour by Mr. Segerstrom and his staff, led by the collection’s curator Mike Kujawa. “Ted prides himself on not just owning examples of certain cars, but specific one’s that are very rare or have a special history. Th known to exist that are identical; with both a sequential V.I.N.s and Shelby numbers. One was sold on the east coast and the other out here on the west coast.” Among other special cars, Mr. Segerstrom also owns a set of very rare yellow 1968 Shelby GT500KR Convertibles, a fleet of Shelby GT-Hertz Rentals’, as well as a modern version of The Twins; a set of identical and sequentially-produced 2008 40th Anniversary Shelby GT500KRs. With such a notable group of cars, it is not easy to get a sense of the favorites. As Mr. Kujawa mentions, “Whenever Ted is asked which one is his favorite, he will usually reply ‘The next one’”.

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Special Twins, both vintage (Sean Spear)

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And modern (Sean Spear)

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Some admirers take in the sights (Sean Spear)

In addition to his large collection of Shelby Mustangs, the Segerstroms also possesses vehicles as wide ranging as a couple U.S. Army jeeps to Ms. Segerstrom’s spectacular factory-gray 1956 T-Bird. Still, given Mr. Segerstrom’s long-term relationship with Shelby American Inc. (and his personal relationship with the late Carroll Shelby himself), it is not hard to understand why the Shelby cars dominate the collection. While it may be easy to assume that the event was merely an opportunity for Mr. Segerstrom to show-off a little, the reality is that his willingness to open the doors to his garage is rare and only done for charity. As Mr. Segerstrom explains, “I’ve only had three events here, all for charities. I’m looking at a move that may allow us to have larger ones. We’ll see.” If successful, Mr. Segerstrom should expect to have both more attendees and charities lining up at his door.

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The first car owned by Ted Segerstrom, a red 1968 GT500KR Convertible (Sean Spear)

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Perhaps the one Mustang a driver would NOT have wanted to see back in the day (Sean Spear)

For more information about the Orange County Childhood Language Center, go to oclanguagecenter.org [nggallery id=segerstrom2015]

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